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In times where authenticity and leadership go seemingly hand in hand, an important question is: what do you stand for as a leader? The truth is, answering that question might be easier said than done.

Just try it yourself:

  • Are you aware of your professional identity?
  • Is your behaviour as a leader aligned with your personal values?
  • Do your responsibilities “allow” you to be your true self?
  • Can you show vulnerability as a leader?
  • To what extent are you pressured by your workplace-culture to conform?
  • Or are you too busy to even think about all the above?

We all want to be liked and trusted (there are always exceptions of course). But in fact nóbody wants to be labeled or miss out on opportunities because of showing too much weakness or emotions. But what if you áre scared? Or angry. Or sad. And how can you lead your team from within if you are not even “allowed” to show who you really are? Or do you believe it’s better to fake it from time to time?

I’m not here to give you the answers. And there’s a lot of information available online on how to lead authentic, with valuable tips on communication, how to stop over-committing, focusing on the overarching goals, encouraging others to be “real”, etc.

All I want to do is to challenge you to look around: Who do you believe to be the most authentic leader you have ever worked with and why? What does he or she do different that gives you that feeling of them being “real”? And how do you feel about that? Does it motivate you? Or is it nothing more than an excuse for bad behaviour?

To join the conversation on LinkedIn: Click here. And whether you believe authentic leadership is a hype or not, if you want to explore your own leadership style, don’t hesitate to contact me for a free one-hour consult: coaching@bigfish4.me

I’m looking forward to your comments!

Sofie Varrewaere is the founder of BigFish4.me. After studying a Master in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences, she ogled into the magical world of Recruitment, Selection and HR Services. Working for the world leader in HR, she has always been in an advisory role in relation to the larger goals of several multinational organizations. In 2013 she started her own company in International executive Coaching. Doing what she is good at, challenging others as well as herself.